Governor Tom Vilsack Thursday ordered the release of dozens of pages of documents from an internal investigation into the state agency that was supposed to be monitoring a central Iowa job training program where managers were paid excessive salaries.
State Auditor Dave Vaudt says the documents show a troubling pattern of mismanagement in the Iowa Workforce Development agency. “If you take a look at the report that was issued, there is a lot of abuse by IWD management and personnel in the proper payroll procedures and a lot of it related to promotions, hiring people, pay increases, retention bonuses,” Vaudt says. “That’s a disturbing thought considering the fact that a lot of the issues at CIETC, which was being monitored by IWD, also had to deal with salaries and bonuses.”
The governor’s staff on Wednesday tried to keep the report secret, but the governor ordered its release yesterday. The governor has not read the reports, which were compiled at his request in April. Vaudt says that’s unfortunate. “I think we should all take an interest,” Vaudt says. “As soon as I found out the report was being released, that was my first intent was to get a copy and read through (it) and see what it had to say because I think it helps us better understand the situation and what actions need to be taken…over the next few months.”
The documents released yesterday reveal favoritism in hiring practices within the state Workforce Development Agency and concludes some state workers were paid improper bonuses.
However, Vaudt says there were really no huge surprises in the documents. The auditor says the reports “clearly” show top managers in the Workforce Development agency knew about the excessive salaries and their chief reaction was to try to cover it all up.
Local, state and federal investigations continue into the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium and so far six people connected to the pay scandal have been fired, including the director, deputy director and a top administrator of the Iowa Workforce Development agency.